ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been a few months since omicron entered the Finger Lakes region, causing a major increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations.
Now, health officials say the trend is turning the other way.
It’s certainly welcomed news, but what does it mean for the rest of this pandemic?
We asked residents getting their vaccine how they feel about the current state of COVID-19.
“We’re a little bit mentally fatigued from COVID,” said Gerald Drungoole.
“I just really want this thing to be over because its been going on for such a long time,” said Kecia Duboise.
“What we’ve seen more than anything else is depression. I feel like depression is causing major problems in this country right now,” said Michelle Heed.
The question everyone has is — when will the pandemic be over? Or, when will it become endemic; meaning infection is more predictable, and trends appear to specific areas rather than globally.
Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says it’s hard to say, but we can look at history.
“The 1918 pandemic saw that influenza was around for decades, but certainly the acute part of that crisis ended after two or three years,” he said.
His hope is for COVID-19 to have a similar path. The best case scenario — we reach endemic-stage by the end of this year.
But that’s not certain.
The good news is we have the tools to take action now — vaccines, boosters and masks.
“There will be versions of this coronavirus in our community for years most likely. But the severity on schools, businesses, that is to be determined,” Dr. Mendoza said.
He says it’s largely determined on how well we the community works together, to make safe decisions..
“COVID has it’s links to politics and all that,” said Rochester resident Dougie Worth. “The divisions in the nation, we have to provide a more unified front.”
“It’s still important to maintain the key, doing what we are doing, make sure it really does die down,” said Maia Duncan.
Dr. Mendoza adds the decline in cases is coming at a time when mask wearing is being well-followed.